Nothing quite screams “change” like springtime! If you have been struggling with ideas for improving your cigar shop, this is the time to make some moves. Have you struggled with retaining the visitors that walk in through your door, or do you find yourself needing to help customers find what they want much too often?
It might be time for you to consider revamping your cigar shop layout. This is one of the simplest yet effective changes you can make to retain traffic, increase sales, and provide a better atmosphere not only in your shop but for the layout of your cigars.
In this article, we will go over the benefits of a good layout for your cigar store., including the science behind it. We will also take a look at a few effective layouts that many shops use and ways to figure out which one is best for your cigar shop.
Benefits of a good cigar store design
A good cigar shop layout can make a sizable difference in your customer retention. The right layout can make customers feel comfortable, and enjoy their experience, and their tobacco. On the other hand, a bad design layout can annoy them and decrease the likelihood of them sticking around.
A good layout will also boost sales. Great layouts capitalize on the research of consumer psychology and shopping patterns. This means you can set up the interior of your cigar shop to make it even easier for them to find what they want. This is a win-win for both you and the customers.
There has been a wide range of studies conducted that show most people naturally look left first, then right as they enter a store. After a first glance, shoppers generally prefer to move right and walk counterclockwise around the space. Placing the most popular items along this route will make the layout an easier journey for visitors.
This study concluded that “While not enough traffic makes the store look empty and casts doubts in shoppers’ minds, dense/crowded retail environments tend to induce tension, confusion, or frustration, which lead to less favorable evaluations of the shopping experience, avoidance behavior, and actual sales loss.”
Types of Cigar store layouts
There are plenty of different layouts that you can choose from. Technically, there are an infinite number of ways to arrange your interior, but we’re going to look at a few tried-and-true designs that have proven popular with other retail stores.
First, let’s point out some necessary parts to any store’s design.
For example, regardless of what you sell, it’s important that you include a transition space immediately in front of the door as you enter. This gives entering customers the space to breathe and pick their path. It also frees up congestion when there is high traffic.
Another necessary inclusion is what we like to call the power wall. Remember the previous statement about customers generally turning to the right when they enter? Take advantage of that pattern by placing a display in that exact area with your most attractive deals and popular items (or any product you are intentionally pushing). This is one of the more lucrative changes you can make.
Let’s take a look at some widely-used designs:
This is the classic grid layout that you see in many stores. Every shelf is aligned and spaced evenly. It is often used by businesses to make shopping quick and easy to complete. Although this is predictable and easy to maneuver through, it also comes with the downside of not retaining customers as well. Once they find what they need, they will make a beeline for the counter and have nothing catching their attention.
Free Flow Layout
This may sound a little obvious due to its name, but the free-flow layout provides a varied and open-ended browsing experience. Product shelves are placed in any random location given there is enough space in between. The lack of paths can retain customers a little easier because of the “surprise factor.” You never really know what display you’re going to walk up to next!
On the other hand, it can be a little less convenient for shoppers searching for particular items. It also does not provide you with the option of creating a certain path for traffic flow to follow.
The boutique store layout is one that lends itself to cigars in a shop very well. This design is based on placing each “type” of product in different designated areas of your store which are clearly separated. The feeling of multiple small stores within your own store can encourage customers to browse many similar items at once.
This also leaves room for walking paths while keeping everything that you sell easily visible and attractive to the eyes.
There are plenty of other layouts to choose from with a wide variation in function and style. That being said, you aren’t limited to only one. Often the shape of your store’s interior or the products you provide require you to customize your layout. It’s possible to have a store with half a grid layout and half boutique store areas, or whatever other combination you can imagine like a cigar lounge.
The most important thing is making sure the design provides both your customers shopping for cigars and your sales initiatives with the best chance of success.
Choosing the best store layout for your cigars
You must first consider what your customer flow looks like before designing the best layout for the job. Customer flow breaks down into the number of people entering your store and the patterns they follow during their stay. Designing your layout based on this will make it effective and move your bottom line.
If you have windows, utilize them to their fullest extent! This means making any customer-facing window space for product placement. This can pull in outside traffic that might otherwise walk right past. It will also set you apart from other nearby stores when done right.
Take the time to study the demographic of people who enter your store. Are they looking to get in and out as quickly as possible? Is there a chance they stick around to lounge and talk? Would assistance from store associates be welcome or inconvenient? These (and more) are all necessary things to consider as you choose the best layout for the cigars in your store..
Take care to focus on how this all looks visually, not just on a blueprint plan. Over half of the human brain is dedicated to processing visual information, so make sure your store is being processed positively! This means leaving ample space for light fixtures, placing attractive but non-invasive signs at head height, and making every area simple and easy to navigate.
Small changes, big results
Changing up the layout and design of your cigar shop can have a widespread impact on many parts of your business. When done right, customers want to stay around, congestion is limited, and more products are purchased. This is a great example of how small changes can lead to big results.
The image of your business is as important as the products and services it provides. Likewise, the appearance of your cigar shop online is as important as its appearance in-store. That’s why cigar shop layout matters. Marketing matters wherever it is applied. Cigarketing is a cigar marketing agency run by cigar lovers and business owners—for cigar lovers and business owners. It’s about time the cigar industry had its very own marketing agency. Want to see how Cigarketing can boost your cigar business today? Contact us!